PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire Health Systems board of trustees announced that a leadership transition will take place at BHS early in the new year. The 20-member board unanimously voted to appoint Darlene Rodowicz as the next president and CEO, following the announcement of current CEO David Phelps’s departure.
“When Dave shared his intention to retire with the board several years ago, we asked that he participate in a thorough succession-planning process,” explained Bart Raser, chair of the BHS board of trustees, adding that the board did, indeed, engage in a multi-year succession-planning process designed to ensure a smooth leadership transition and support the strategic advancement of BHS.
“We wanted to guarantee that all health-system leadership roles were staffed with skilled executives and that the board would have a viable internal candidate to consider as a potential successor,” Raser added. “After carefully coordinating the process and weighing all possible options, the board is thrilled to appoint Darlene as the next CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, and, notably, the first female CEO in the organization’s history.”
Raser praised Rodowicz as a strong leader with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, a deep knowledge of the Berkshire community, and a sterling reputation among government leaders and healthcare colleagues across the Commonwealth. He particularly highlighted her leadership in orchestrating BHS’s successful pandemic response over the past two years.
“Darlene has demonstrated excellence, effectiveness, and grace under fire throughout the past two years in the battle against COVID-19. Berkshire County will be lucky to have her at the helm to face any new challenges that the pandemic and the healthcare industry may send our way,” Raser said.
Phelps agreed. “From working side by side for years, I know that Darlene is uniquely qualified for this position, and I couldn’t be happier that she will be taking on this new role,” he said.
Rodowicz expressed her appreciation to Phelps for maintaining high standards for integrity, dedication, and excellence throughout his career at BHS.
“Our organization has enjoyed great success under Dave’s leadership. To be able to build upon all we’ve done together for decades is a tremendous opportunity,” she said. “I am grateful that I will be able to partner with our extraordinary team of providers and healthcare professionals, who are the heart and soul of BHS. Caring for every person in our community is the reason why we all are here, and, as a Berkshire native, I can’t think of a greater honor.”
Rodowicz joined BHS in 1984 and served in various positions of increasing responsibility, including as chief financial officer from 2005 to 2020, when she was appointed executive vice president. Rodowicz holds an MBA from Western New England College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst.